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‘Key Hole’

Bunion Surgery

Written by Dr Mike Smith

Are your Bunions problematic?

 

Bunion corrections can now be performed via minimally invasive ‘keyhole’ techniques as a day procedure

Traditional bunion surgery involves making a long incision along the inside of the great toe. Through this open approach, the bones of the great toe (metatarsal +/- proximal phalanx) are cut and repositioned. An additional 3cm incision is often required along the top of the foot to release tight soft tissues.

In contrast, ‘Keyhole’ bunion surgery is a minimally invasive technique that has recently been developed in Europe to minimise soft tissue damage and scarring during the procedure. Frequently, this technique does not require any sutures, and scarring is minimal.

 

What is a bunion?

bunion treatment bunion surgery adelide orthopaedic surgeon mike smith best bunion photo

bunion, also know as a ‘Hallux valgus deformity’, is a painful deformity that occurs at the base of the big toe (the 1st MTP joint). A complex mechanism results in a painful prominence forming on the inside of the great toe, and the toe itself begins to migrate towards the 2nd toe.

 

Normally the big toe should point forwards. When a bunion develops, the big toe drifts towards the lesser toes. When present, bunions commonly occur in both feet.

 

 

 

 

adelaide orthopaedic surgeon mike smith minimally invasive bunion surgery best operation photo

How is this ‘Key Hole’ procedure performed

The entire procedure is performed by making 5 tiny 2-3mm incisions on the foot.

This technique uses advanced equipment that has been specifically designed to allow for the correction of bunion deformity via this keyhole technique.

keyhole bunion surgery adelaide bunion treatment adelaide orthopaedic surgeon mike smith

A specialised ‘Burr’ machine is used to correct the alignment of the big toe. This is done under xray guidance. Specialised small screws are used to secure the newly aligned toe into position. These screws are designed to remain inside the bone, and do not require removal in the future. The use of ‘oblique headless’ screws is a specific design,so that the screw heads are not palpable.

 

 

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It is estimated that up to a third of the population have bunions. Clearly, not all of these people will be bothered enough by this condition to consider surgery. However, a large proportion of patients with bunions, have been ‘putting up with them’ for many years.

Reasons for seeking medical attention include:

 

  • When your bunions become painful
  • When your bunions are a cosmetic concern to you
  • When you are having difficulty with your footwear
  • When your smaller toes are starting to become crooked also

 

 

 

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